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William P. Merrill, The Brick Church, and the Fundamentalist/Modernist Conflict
March 12, 2017 @ 9:45 am - 10:45 am EDT
From 1922 to 1936 the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America was torn by conflict between theological liberals and militant conservatives. William P. Merrill, pastor of The Brick Church from 1911-1938, was a major liberal voice in the denomination and key leader in the controversy. Longfield explores Rev. Merrill’s theological commitments and actions in order to understand the conflict and the place of The Brick Church in the outcome. A minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Rev. Dr. Bradley Longfield served as a pastor in Indiana and taught at Duke Divinity School before coming to University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. He has served as Dean of the Seminary since 1998. His book, The Presbyterian Controversy: Fundamentalists, Modernists, and Moderates, investigates the fundamentalist/ modernist conflict in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in the 1920s and 1930s. Dr. Longfield has also co-edited The Secularization of the Academy, a collection of essays addressing the history of religion and higher education. His current research and publications focus on the history of church conflict and twentieth-century denominational history.